It used to be very difficult to find a job that allowed you to work from home. Sometimes working from home was a possibility if you had been with a company for a good amount of time, otherwise working at home usually was not an option for most. However with the technology that is available today, many companies prefer to hire telecommuters either as employees or as independent contractors. Whether your goal is to work full time with a set schedule or part time with a varying schedule there are jobs out there to meet your needs. If you have a background in customer service or would like to gain experience, their are many options available to you.
What you may need: The equipment required to work at home as a virtual customer service representative will depend on the company you choose to work for. Most companies require an updated Windows based pc. You will also need a hard wired internet connection with a modem and usually a router. Some companies will require you to have a VOIP headset but others will require that you have a dedicated home phone (again, hard wired) and a headset that will connect through your phone line. You will also need a quiet work area that will allow you to work without distraction.
Application Process: Again, this varies depending on the company. Many companies will require you to test your computer and complete assessments to determine if you are qualified as part of the process. Some companies also require drug tests and a background check. You will be informed of the job requirements and when you begin your application.
What you will be doing: a good percentage of the companies are hiring employees to perform customer service and light tech support for cell phone and cable companies, stores, infomercial sales and even cruises. Some companies are strictly inbound while others are outbound sales and telemarketing. Not to sound like a broken record, but it depends on the company.
Here are a few companies to get you started.
Convergys: hires full time employees and offers benefits. Hourly pay.
Teletech: hires employees, mostly part time, limited benefits. Hourly pay.
Alpine Access:hires full time employees and offers benefits. Hourly pay.
Live Ops: hires Independent contractors, choose your own hours. Paid per talk time.
Sutherland: hires full time and part time employees and offers some benefits. Hourly pay.